Chris has written 6 reviews for films rated ★★★★ during 2020.

  • Sweet Smell of Success

    Sweet Smell of Success

    ★★★★

    A pitch-black Noir that presents a world of moral bankruptcy, where blackmail and deception have spread to every corner. Principles go out the window if you wish to get ahead in life and success is determined by how much use you can be not by how much talent you possess. Tony Curtis radiates sleazy charisma, Burt Lancaster is unnervingly dispassionate, James Wong Howe's photography is strikingly vibrant and Ernest Lehman's script is packed with memorable dialogue.

    One of the most caustic films of its era.

  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

    Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

    ★★★★

    Funny to think that I used to actively dislike At World's End seeing as my admiration for it has only increased over time. It is undoubtedly overstuffed and ponderous, and yet it is filled with some of the most creative blockbuster filmmaking of the modern era. I'm genuinely astonished that a film this wildly ambitious, enthusiastically weird and dense with mythology was once the most expensive of all time. The fact that Disney (who now churn out lifeless remakes, bland…

  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

    Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

    ★★★★

    Deserves so much credit for constantly expanding its horizons with excellent world building, a massive sense of scale and increasingly higher stakes. Both the action and comedy are impressively orchestrated, whilst the tone walks the fine line between light and dark seamlessly. Almost every frame is visually spectacular and the CGI is among the best of its time (Davy Jones himself still looks lifelike). Sure it has issues with a plot that is packed with narrative threads to an almost…

  • Panic Room

    Panic Room

    ★★★★

    Panic Room is an unfortunate victim of circumstance. It finds itself sandwiched between David Fincher's two best films and ends up fading into the background as one of his lesser works. It's a shame because this is still a mightily entertaining effort. It is clearly his attempt at making a pure popcorn thriller and is a first-rate example of such.

    The high-concept premise allows Fincher to play to his strengths by placing emphasis on building tension and using the claustrophobic…

  • Scream

    Scream

    ★★★★

    Wes Craven shook the horror genre for the second time in his career with this razor-sharp slasher satire that's as witty as it is thrilling. Kevin Williamson's fantastic script plays with genre tropes by following some and subverting others, while providing memorable dialogue full of movie references and self-aware characters that give the film an energy not many others of this style possess. It is aided by a spirited cast, inventive set-pieces, a sense of unpredictability (as characters are killed…

  • Se7en

    Se7en

    ★★★★

    Arguably one of the darkest mainstream films ever released, right from the wonderfully unsettling open credits of David Fincher's sophomore effort Seven you know you're in for a disturbing ride. The sinister atmosphere is palpable. The nameless city is nearly always in the middle of a downpour and the looming buildings cast deep shadows. The cops are weary and the citizens apathetic. The murders are as chilling as anything you'll see in a horror movie (especially the harrowing one involving…